Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts today at 3pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
UPDATE: (2:30pm on Thursday) -- Stephen Curry and Festus Ezeli, who were both listed as doubtful, will not play Thursday night against the Rockets, Luke Walton announced in his pregame news conference.
Having lost for only the second time this season Wednesday, the Warriors hope to bounce back Thursday and avoid their first winless road trip in more than a year.
It won’t be easy, as they are underdogs upon invading Toyota Center in Houston to face the talented but troubled Rockets in a rematch of the 2015 Western Conference Finals.
The Warriors (29-2) are fighting numerous injuries – most notably a leg bruise to MVP Steph Curry – that have thinned the roster. The lack of options showed in a 114-91 loss at Dallas, and they’ll be back on the court only 21 hours later.
The Rockets (16-17) have been one of the NBA’s mystery teams. Beset by lack of cohesion, with rumors of poor chemistry, they were good enough to beat the Spurs on Christmas Day but also bad enough to lose twice to the lowly Nets.
After getting off to a 4-7 start and firing coach Kevin McHale, Houston turned to interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who has done only slightly better at 12-10.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Klay Thompson vs. James Harden -- Thompson recently was quoted saying he’s the best shooting guard in the NBA, a comment he acknowledged while also saying it resulted in a bit of misrepresentation. Didn’t matter to Harden, who offered up a response on Wednesday. This is an opportunity for each to stake a claim over the other. The outcome of this matchup will go long way toward determining which team wins this game.
Warriors: G Stephen Curry (L leg injury) and C Festus Ezeli (L big toe) are listed as doubtful. F Harrison Barnes (L ankle sprain), G Leandro Barbosa (L shoulder sprain) and F Kevon Looney (R hip surgery rehab) are not with the team.
Rockets: F Sam Dekker (low back pain) is listed as out.
The Warriors have won six consecutive regular-season meetings, with the last five by double digits, including a 112-92 win in Houston on Oct. 30. The Warriors also topped the Rockets in five in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals in May.